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Many shoppers save hundreds to thousands of dollars by using coupons. From buy one get one free and even cash back deals, coupons are definitely a lifesaver, especially if you’re on a tight budget.
Mastering the art of using coupons means you need to understand how coupons work, where you can use them, and the secrets of getting the most from using them.
If you want to use coupons to save money on your groceries, here are seven mistakes beginning couponers make that you should try and avoid.
Not Knowing The Right Deal
When you’re searching for coupons, you might find something that you don’t need but you can get a huge discount on by using a coupon.
If you can’t think of any way to use the item, don’t buy it. Just because you can get a great deal doesn’t mean that it’s worth purchasing.
Now if it’s free or they pay you to take it home, that’s a different story. Grab the deal and take it to your local shelter if you have no need for it.
Not Knowing The Policy
Before you go to your favorite store and prepare to use your coupons, make sure you know the store’s current coupon policy.
Some stores have limits on how many coupons you can use and how you can use them. Since most stores have their policies (and even deals) on their website, make sure to check them out before shopping.
It’s even a good idea to keep a printed copy with you to refer back to or show a cashier if you run into a problem.
Not Using The Stack
Many stores only accept one manufacturer’s coupon for an item. However, there are others that allow you to pair the manufacturer’s coupon with a store coupon to get more savings, which is referred to as “Stacking Coupons”.
Knowing the policy on coupon stacking for your store can save you often double the amount.
Not Checking The Date
Most coupons come with an expiration date. This means you need to use them by that date or you lose out.
Before you use any coupon, make sure that you check whether it is still valid or not. There are stores like Bath & Body Works that offer grace periods, but before you try and use an expired coupon, make sure to call the store to verify their policy on such coupons.
Not Using The Card
Almost every store in the country offers a loyalty program. This loyalty program, which often comes in the form of a loyalty card, can be used together with your coupons for a better deal.
Not using this card every time you shop can cost you. Often the special deals and discounts won’t apply unless you have your card at the time of purchase.
Not Comparing The Brand
Using coupons to buy brand name products is not always the smartest move, especially if a generic brand, of good quality, is cheaper.
Some items like paper products and even medicines, may have different prices and names, but they work the same.
Not Comparing The Price
Not comparing prices between stores and products is a big no-no and can actually end up with you paying more per unit with a coupon, than if you had bought the cheaper brand without a coupon.
To maximize your savings when using coupons, check different stores for their prices. You can use apps or browse online for price checking.
Make sure that on your next shopping trip, you are using coupons to maximize your savings. But to avoid disappointment and to get the most out of your money, you need to avoid these seven mistakes beginner couponer make.